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I firmly object to Angelo Cardinal Scola becoming "the choice of a new papal generation"---we simply cannot have a Pope Scola!
I would say Italy's decline was long before it even was a nation-state. St. Peter, 1st non-Italian Pope, confirmed Rome's decline for which no successor governance has ever rose to greatness yet.
The papal futures market has Italians trading for much higher than non-Italians - from NYT:"For now, the Intrade speculators are expecting the white smoke to signal an Italian pope. The futures contract that pays off in the event any Italian wins was trading at one point yesterday at 41.9, which means the traders gave Italy a 41.9 percent chance, followed by Nigeria at 13. The individual favorite was Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan, at 23, followed by Francis Arinze of Nigeria, at 14.Many of the traders probably know little about Vatican politics and are basically recreational gamblers, perhaps sentimentally betting on their local contender. But these amateurs serve a purpose in the ruthless ecosystem of the market."
I would the major problems facing are not any of the ones the NYT's has transferred from the political circus upon the Church. The next Holy Father will face 1. an apostatised E.U., 2. militant Islam, & 3. biotech morals.
I hope those Intrade speculators aren't Catholic. A 1599 Papal Bull makes it illegal to bet on a conclave. But, then, who get burnt at the stakes these days.
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